Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This year is finally over, and not a second too soon.

Before I begin my year-end round-up, Vibinc and I joined other bloggers in NashVegas last night to meet with the candidates for TDP Chair.  GoldnI and Aunt B. have the best reports, so I am sending you to them to get a feel for what happened.  Vibinc may have something up later.

Now then, other than Election Day (outside Tennessee) and the World Series (OK, so I've got a soft spot for the Phils these days), can we agree that this year truly, madly, deeply SUCKED?  

As the economy crept toward disaster, with the Bushies doing nothing until the bubbles all burst, our retirements evaporated, many lost jobs and those that didn't lost pay for the future.  Oh well, 95% is better than 0%, eh?  Happy Holidays!

Then on top of that, since Bush and Cheney failed to get us in a war with Iran, it seems that Israel is making a late effort to see that we go there; thanks, old friend!  You know, I firmly believe in Israel's right to exist, but I also believe in the Palestinians' right to exist there, too, and that DOESN'T make me the bastard child of Martin Bormann, folks.  This is not of the good, as our beloved Newscoma would say.

What I AM hoping for in the New Year:

1) That January 20 arrives before we find ourselves in WW IV.

2) That President Obama channels FDR, not Hoover, taking the actions to create jobs and wealth.

3) That I still have a job with the same pay at this time next year.

4) That the Republicans finally understand the difference between CREATING wealth and HOARDING wealth (not at all hopeful on that one, folks).

5) That we survive this coming year with our health and our hopes and our lives intact.

6) That Bush, Cheney and the rest get sent to The Hague for war crimes trials.  Hell no, I ain't forgettin'!

7) That we all pull together to get through all of this crap in front of us.  Remember, it took Bush eight years to destroy the Clinton prosperity and then some, so it will take a long time to rebuild America, please don't give up hope.

8) Which is not to say you shouldn't call bullshit if you see it!

OK, that's it, I will see you NEXT year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Georgia on a Fast Train

Look, there's not going to be much politics from here until after January 5th, which is my 50th Birthday.

Until then, here's the greatest country singer/songwriter you've never heard of, Billy Joe Shaver. Enjoy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Feel Good Friday

An interesting FGF to end 2008

This year, something unexpected happened to Lauren and me. We got sucked into a REALITY SHOW, Can You Duet on CMT. I know, it's odd. However, this couple from Columbia, Tennessee, Joey and Rory. they finished third (i thought they would win), and this song in particular was a favorite of Lauren's, Cheater Cheater. So, for Lauren, I present Cheater Cheater by Joey and Rory.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Post 1301 is a Christmas post

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanzaa (Where the hell did it go, anyway?  Kernell and I were talking about this the other day.), Happy Saturnalia, and Happy Solstice Festival.

And, of course, HAPPY FESTIVUS!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Now, THIS truly put me in a Christmassy mood!

I saw this on a car in the parking lot at Poplar & Humes after getting my hair cut.  All I gotta say is this: 


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My last Christmas FGF of the season

And I wish you a Patrick Swayze Christmas!

You know, I've kept my mouth shut for a while

But now I gotta say something. You know, I didn't say anything when Obama picked Gates to stay on for a year or so at Defense, and his choices overall aren't that much to write home about, but yes, they are better than Bush.

That's not saying a hell of lot, now, is it? But I digress.

It's one thing to make mostly lackluster Cabinet choices, but, I have to ask, Mr. PEOTUS, did you have to openly piss on one of your largest constituencies? WTF? Rick Warren? He looks like he's less Dobsonite than Dobson, but he openly supported Prop 8, fer crissakes! And HE'S going to give the invocation?

Seriously, Mr. PEOTUS, WTF? Ted Haggard wasn't available? Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, this is stupid and unneccessary.

I fully expect a Christian minister, so that's not the issue, but why did you pick a HOMOPHOBE?

Look, people, Civil Rights are Civil Rights, and they should apply to ALL. You didn't have to be black to march in Selma, and you need not be queer to support equal rights for all, regardless of orientation. Do NOT hand me that utter and contemptuous bullshit that being gay is a choice; if you knowingly have any gay friends, you KNOW better.

You can choose your orientation about as much as you can change your eye or skin color, which is to say not at all, Michael Jackson notwithstanding. With that said, we need to make homophobia something of which one should be ASHAMED, not celebrated or even accepted.

Again, Civil Rights is Civil Rights, and I don't care if that statement harelips everybody in Bear Creek, as an old friend of mine used to say. I haven't spoken up enough about this myself, and that shows an appalling lack of guts on my part. I apologize to the gay community for being quiet in the past; you'll hear more about this from these quarters in the future.

I may be straight, but I'm not narrow by a damn site, and I'm NOT just talking about my weight, either.


President-elect Obama, whoever told you this was a good idea was horribly mistaken, and you need to reverse this in whatever manner you can. Pick Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, or pick local Catholic Bishop Terry Steib, or pick someone, ANYONE, who's not a homophobe.

It may take a little longer, but it sure as hell ain't THAT difficult.

One last thing, Mr. President-Elect. We certainly don't expect perfection, and we're willing to let a lot slide because we're glad to be freed from the Bush-Cheney cabal, but that doesn't mean your base will allow itself to be pissed on and told it's rain.

Look how well that worked for John McCain.

Just sayin'.

Hell, go read DIGBY, she says it even better than I do!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Congressman Cohen elected Regional Whip

From his Press Office:


Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) was elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as a Regional Whip during the 111th Congress. Elected by acclamation, Congressman Cohen will serve in a leadership position in just his second term as the Representative from Tennessee’s 9th District.

“I’m honored that my colleagues in the House have selected me for this leadership position in just my second term,” said Congressman Cohen. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with Congressman [James] Clyburn (SC-06) (the Majority Whip) to enact the agenda of our Congressional leaders and that of the new Presidential Administration. President-elect Obama and the Democrats ran on an ambitious platform for change in the fall, and I look forward to working with House Leadership and the Obama Administration to address the challenges America is now facing, including the economy, jobs, health care, energy, and bringing our troops home from Iraq. I thank my colleagues in the Caucus for entrusting me with this responsibility, and I look forward to serving as a Regional Whip.

At the call of the Majority Whip, Congressman Cohen will count votes for upcoming legislation from other members within a geographical boundary in his capacity as Regional Whip. Congressman Cohen will represent Region VII, a territory which includes Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. Congressman Cohen will be responsible for relaying concerns and questions about legislation from his Members to the Majority Whip, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Additionally, as a Regional Whip, Congressman Cohen will frequently be asked to participate in floor discussions of bills. He is one of 12 Regional Whips.

Congressman Clyburn remarked, “I’m pleased to have Congressman Cohen join my whip team for the 111th Congress. Congressman Cohen will play a key role in helping me bring members from the southern region together to support legislation that will create jobs, strengthen our economy and establish our energy independence. With his help we can bring lawmakers together and move the country in a new direction.”

Well, we have to honor this the only way we know how, which says more about this blog than our Congressman:

Yeah, I know, but I couldn't resist! :-)

Here's my Xmas Exception for FGF

In addition to my receding hairline and an Eastern European build, I inherited from my father a love of Nat King Cole.  So, if I gotta do one Christmassy thing, here's my #1 Christmas fave, The Christmas Song, written by Mel Torme and sung beautifully as always by Nat.

Also, you need to go over to the Docket, Mute put up Lush Life, Billy Strayhorn's classic sung by the late Johnny Hartman, complete with lyrics. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ok, Blame Pesky!

Or not, but his redesign looked SO GOOD that I had to play around with mine, so here we are.  Let me know what you think...

Also, if you like this blog, FOLLOW IT!!! Check out the new widget over in the corner, I stole that idea from WTL, who just put it up, apparently. Hell, go follow THEM, too!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jon Stewart on Blagojevich

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Breaking news: The Illinois General Assembly reacts to the news of Blagojevich's arrest

Notes: that's Patrick Fitzgerald in the dress, and the short guy with the certificate of death is Mike Madigan, I believe.

Reason #759 why I have a crush on Rachel Maddow

Well, my mood just lightened!

They finally nailed that crook Rod Blagojevich in Illinois!  Woo-Hoo!

More here from the Trib and the Sun-Times.

Now, for those of you are saying, uh, Cracker, he's a Democrat, why are you happy, let me say that first, he's an idiot who has been mismanaging the state and been engaged in a moronic feud with House Speaker Mike Madigan for the duration of his time as Governor.  Second, he refused to move to Springfield, where the Governor's Mansion is located, third, he shows the petulance of a Democratic version of Bush, and fourth, we KNEW he was a crook, we were hoping that something would bring him down.

On top of all that, his replacement, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, is a reformer's reformer and a progressive's progressive.  Pat Quinn is OUR kind of Democrat, folks, so this will be a win-win for my old home state.

I hope they throw Blagojevich UNDER the jail, the punk!  WOO-HOO!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Yeah, I'm still here, and I'm getting through it.

Not writing much, but I'm here.  It's Christmas time, which I'm not thrilled about because A) I'm not Christian and B) I'm no longer 9 years old.  Other than a replaying of White Christmas on the telly, it's not my time of year, at least not until New Year's Day.  

New Year's is my holiday, going to New Year's Gongyo (morning prayer), going over to Lauren's for her grandfather's open house and making them my Sausage Roll-ups, and then just hanging out and watching endless amounts of football.  Now, THAT'S a holiday for me.

So, if you whine at me because I say Happy Holidays, I'll tell you to take a hike, sister.  The only reason they moved the observation of the birthday of Christ to December 25 was because it was really a pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, so that predates Jesus.  Him, I like.  His followers? Well, most are nice, but some are a pain in the ass.  

If we had snow on the ground for most of the month, I might feel a little more Christmassy, because that's what I grew up with back on the old sod.  This yo-yo weather stinks, let it get down to 14 degrees and then warm up to 28 and snow like hell, that's what I'd like to see!  Seriously, how can people talk about Christmas without snow?  That's like the Kentucky Derby without mint juleps, Memorial Day without bratwurst and beer, or a COGIC Convention without big hats.  It just isn't right.

So, If I have too much of a BAH HUMBUG attitude for you, just avoid me until after Christmas, it will get better afterwards.  Me and Alaska turn 50 within two days of each other, the NFL playoffs will start, and I'll realize we're only a month away from the greatest gift of all, Spring Training.

In other things that make me feel way too old: one of the greatest of all Memphians left us too soon this morning at the age of 83.  Once upon a time, in a land seemingly far away, there used to be these great things known as "full-service" radio stations, like WDIA used to be in the Goodwill days, and like WGN has always been.  

Before they became Memphis' most well-known exponent of hate-filled garbage radio (and the Tigers, too!), WREC was a shining beacon of service to its community, and Fred Cook was its star.  He and John Powell did ZERO HOUR for many years together, and was the first news anchor at WREC/WREG Channel 3.  His voice was unmistakable whether on TV, Radio, or as the PA announcer at the Coliseum for MSU basketball.  For those of us of a certain age, his is a deep loss, and a sign that radio as we once knew it is gone forever.  To his family, his friends and his co-workers of all those years, we here at the Cracker offer our deepest sympathies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

All I gotta say is this:


Hey Democrats! Come to DL tonight and meet Chip Forrester!

I have learned that TNDP Chair candidate Chip Forrester will be coming to Drinking Liberally TONIGHT.   Come out and meet him and ask him about his plans for dragging the TNDP out of the depths in which it now finds itself, and how we can work with them (and THEM WITH US) to achieve this.

As always, we are at RP Billiards at 525 South Highland from 7-9 PM, come on out!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

OK, so I'm almost back to normal

I'm not sure if it was something I ate, or EVERYTHING that I ate, but I have been down for the weekend.  There was no Feel Good Friday here because I didn't, but it shall return this week.

Now then, we have had much happen in the last few days in my absence.  I don't feel like I know enough to comment about the Mumbai situation; to be honest, I have avoided the news reports, because we have enough to worry about here at home.

We have to hope that Congress has the cojones NOT to let Bush, Cheney & company complete their unmitigated looting of the US treasury before January 20; fortunately, the new, more Democratic Congress takes over January 3 and we can finally begin triage.

On other subjects, I really felt bad for Phillip Fulmer last night on his final game at UT, even though, as usual, I pulled against them.  He has given the majority of his life to that school, and they gave him the boot (albeit probably into a job somewhere in the Athletic Department) any way.  

In his place, they hire a guy whose only head coaching experience was surviving Al Davis for a little over a year.  (Bill Callahan, anyone?) Let's see how THAT works out for them.  Given that they are in a division where they are the ONLY non-bowl eligible school, they could be in for tough sledding for a while.

The Tigers are 6-6 and headed for a bowl, feel the excitement? Nah, me neither.  This is a team that should be 9-3 if they had been better conditioned earlier in the year, and their probable reward is their 3rd visit to the New Orleans Bowl in 6 years.  

Either they will face an excellent Troy squad, or they will get a rematch with the ASU Red Wolves, a thought which should cause the UM athletic department's blood to run cold.  While A-State will sell their allotment in a hurry (the last time they went to the New Orleans Bowl was in 2005, after Katrina, played in LAFAYETTE!), I suspect getting Tiger football fans to shell out $$$ for a trip to New Orleans to see a rematch with ASU will be a very difficult sell.  

Ah, remember the days when Tiger fans dreamed of getting to a bowl, ANY bowl?

Well, I apologize for the dearth of writing of late, we're trying to get back into it, more later!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Why are you thankful today?

Well, here's why I give thanks today, not necessarily in order of importance:

1.  Barack Obama will become President January 20, and we can finally begin to turn this country in the right direction.

2.  That I work for the most well-managed company on Earth, so that I am not yet worried about maintaining employment.

3.  That I have the most amazing, wonderful and varied group of friends a person can have, from Chicago to Little Rock to Hooterville and concentrated in the Cradle of Popular Culture, Memphis.

4.  That among those friends are people who are going to rebuild the State Democratic Party, whether it likes it or not.

5.  That I know things WILL get better for this country, although not nearly as quickly as we all want.

6. For YOU, the readers who come back whether I have something to say or not.

7. For the family that I have that is far away, and for the family I have made with the people that are here.

8.  And above all else, Lauren.  What else needs be said?

Go hang out, eat, and ENJOY!

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

At least SOMEONE has an idea on how to transform the TNDP

But unfortunately, Vibinc is NOT the state Party Chair.

Even so, you need to go read him this morning, it's a hell of an outline with great ideas on how to rebuild this saggy mess known as the TNDP.  It's all about the "from-the-ground-up" approach that worked for the national Party.  

IT WORKS, PEOPLE; if it didn't, Obama would never have won the nomination or the Presidency!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's only getting worse, not better

This is Peter Schiff, the guy who called the housing bubble, who explains (to the dismay of the greedheads on the panel), why we're in SERIOUS trouble..

Saturday, November 22, 2008

KateFest this weekend at the Center for Southern Folklore


As Andria Lisle has noted, Kate Campbell is making a visit to the Center this weekend for two shows and a songwriting workshop.

Saturday night, we are having a CD release party and concert to hear songs from her new CD, SAVE THE DAY; this will begin at 8 PM.  Tickets are $25 (Golden Circle), $18 day of show and $15 in advance, call 525-3655 for more information.

Sunday afternoon from 2-4 PM, Kate is having a Songwriting Workshop in conjunction with the Memphis Songwriters Association, tickets are $30, $25 for Memphis Songwriters Association members.  Those tickets also include admission for the 4-5:30 show that follows, KateFest!

KateFest will be all of the older songs we've come to love over the years; if you just want to come by for the show and bypass the workshop, tickets are $20.  Please call the Center for more information!

I will be there Saturday night, I hope you can make one or more of these events, they are a treasure, as we welcome Kate back to Memphis! 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whole lotta ass-coverin' goin' on!

Before I say anything more, I want you to read the insightful Mr. Baker's conversation with Senate Democratic Caucus spokesman Mark Brown.  Your not-so-humble Cracker offered a comment at the end, but that's NOT why I want you to read it.

Go on, I'll wait.

Done? Ok, your next assignment is to read the fabulous Aunt B. , whom I had the great fortune to meet last night in Nashville (more on that in a minute).  Again, I'll wait.

(pours glass of tea, sips, savors)

Finished?  Great, now let's talk!

The blatant ass-covering done by Mr. Brown (shot full of holes by many, though it is NOT Mr. Brown's fault, he's only the messenger, to be fair) ignores the fact that A) almost ALL of Tennessee's Democratic leadership in both chambers supported Clinton (save Congressmen Cohen and Cooper) and B) that Obama was TOLD by Bredesen to stay out of Tennessee.  Now, whose freakin' fault is it REALLY?

Add to that the fact that, despite all the horrific thoughts TN GOP Chair Robin Smith and Propaganda Minister William Howard Hobbs provoke in our Democratic heads, the fact is that we had NO coherent message to present to the voters, other than that they were BY GOD GOING TO MAKE ROSALIND KURITA PAY!

Well, they even fucked that up, people.  Yes, Rosalind Kurita did a bad (or maybe not) thing by throwing the octogenarian John Wilder under the bus, and yes, she needed to go, but had they done the SMART thing and denied her a place in the Democratic Primary, AS THE STATE AND LOCAL PARTIES HAD EVERY RIGHT TO DO, no one would have thought her the second coming of Joan of Arc.

I understand the reasons given for taking the procedure that they did, but only a old hack like me would understand, the average voter felt sorry for her and thought we treated her badly.  That contributed to the epic spiral downward for the TNDP.

That, of course, is the bad news.  Here is some GOOD news: there are people who realize change is NECESSARY, and some of them are actual elected officials!!!!

I went to Nashville last night and met with one such official (sorry, can't tell ya who!), along with the aforementioned Aunt B. of NashVegas, along with our beloved Newscoma and the equally beloved Squirrel Queen for a frank discussion of our sorry state of affairs.

Much was discussed, but all off the record; however, I CAN tell you that they are more discussions ahead, and that the parties involved are serious about the situation.  The other thing I CAN tell you is that this official told me that Senator Douglas Henry IS running for re-election next year, too bad for you, Bob Krumm!  Senator Henry told this official that earlier yesterday, so it's ON for 2010, which is good news for rebuilding.

I am delighted that we have Democratic officials doing more reachout to the blogosphere, it is something that our local elected officials have done well and are improving all the time.  We CAN be of assistance; however, always know that we are here to help, but also to critique!

Ok, enough rambling for now, but help is on the way!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As Jackson Baker has reported, we raised more than enough money to re-pay Steve Mulroy for the new ballots he had made, and as you can see above, we had a ceremonial burning of the old, bad ballots (that were UNSUCCESSFUL, by the way) and we managed to raise extra money for the Inner City Outreach Center.

Many thanks to all who came by, a BIG shout-out to that CHANGE MEMPHIS guy his ownself, Brad Watkins, and my Commissioner, for Steve Mulroy, for being the stand-up guy that he is.

Also, of course, to our bloggers-in-arms Steve Ross, Jon Carroll, Rick Maynard, "Big Daddy" David Holt, and to Dwayne Thompson, who brought the reimbursement resolution before the SCDP only to see them shoot it down.

I have news for all of you; if we don't see REAL CHANGE in the ExecCom next year, you can have it, and we'll ignore it.  OBAMA DAY anyone?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

While I fight with Gmail, please read Vibinc

I am battling once again with Gmail, who once again is trying to force me to Google Groups, and I AM NOT GOING.  That's why you haven't gotten anything this morning, campers.

Now, in the interim, I want you to read Vibinc's latest regarding Hizzoner, the possibility of his indictment, and the PR problems it presents for the US Attorney's office here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Democratic Solidarity Event-Tues. Nov 18th

Moved up to the top to REMIND you..

Stolen from WTL:

Democratic Solidarity Event-Tues. Nov 18th
What-Democratic Solidarity Event

When-Tuesday, November 18th
Where-Memphis Pizza Cafe. 2087 Madison ave.
Time- 6:30pm-8:30pm
Suggested donation-All Donations Welcome

First of all I wanted to tip my hat and extend my sincerest thanks to all of you who got out there and worked during this historic election season. From the incredible grassroots efforts of the local Obama campaign, to the campaigns for Steve Cohen, Bob Tuke, Paul Shaffer, and Freda Williams, to the Yes on Five campaign and to all the hard work done by staff,interns and volunteers here at Change Memphis, you and your efforts win or lose did make a difference.

......But before you take a well deserved rest, there is one tiny little piece of bookkeeping that I feel we all as Progressives and as Democrats need to address.

This election was not without it's share of controversy, however as we have seen there has been much discord over the printing and distributing of ballots from the Shelby County Democratic Party brand bearing the now infamous "VOTE NO ON REFERENDUMS" box. This "misprint" misrepresented the official position of the Shelby County Democratic Party executive committee and was an unauthorized addition to the official party ballot. This event cause great confusion and had the potential to mislead the public and tarnish the democratic brand for years to come. Fortunately a loyal democrat stood up and paid money out of his own pocket in order to correct this "mistake". That Democrat was County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

Despite this generous gesture on his part, and the efforts of other loyal Democrats these bogus ballots were still being distributed all the way to election day. Thankfully these actions were not in vain as the will of the people was clearly demonstrated on election day. Dwayne Thompson, a member of the executive committee proposed a resolution, that the SCDP would reimburse Mulroy for his efforts to correct this "mistake" made by the party. This resolution was blocked by the current leadership and never allowed to reach the floor for a vote.

This is an insult,and it's an insult to each and every one of YOU, who have donated YOUR time,YOUR money and YOUR energy to the cause of helping to elect good democrats and to advance progressive causes. It's an insult because the current leadership of the party has chosen to set itself above and apart from all of those who labor in pursuit of Democratic goals and values. It's an insult because we now have a democratic party, that does not believe in democracy. It's an insult, because it flies in the face of everything we all believe in. This is not about ideology,or personalities. This is not about Faction vs.'s about RIGHT Vs. WRONG.

So, We would like to extend to you an invitation to attend a Democratic Solidarity fundraiser for the purpose of correcting this "mistake". TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18th,at the Memphis Pizza Cafe, 2087 Madison Ave. 6:30-8:30pm. All funds raised will go to reimbursing Steve Mulroy for the 700.00 dollars that he paid out of pocket to correct the SCDP ballot.

If any additional funds are raised,those donations would go to support the efforts of the Inner City Outreach Center, located in the Foote homes area. this program provides young people in the area a safe place to exercise and play. they also have basketball camps and serve as mentors to boys and young men who have few options in their neighborhood.

We hope to see you all there.


The Progressive Bloggers of Shelby County.

Brad Watkins and David Holt Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal

Steve Steffens- Left Wing Cracker

Derek Haire-the flypaper theory

Steve Ross-Vibinc

Polar Donkey

Rick Maynard-Freedonian

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm saving this on Wednesday but not posting until Friday, but you have to see this, it's the National Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain with their performance of an old Memphis favorite.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Now, back to our story...

Oh, by the way, no one has taken up Vibinc on his offer yet...

I want to say that I don't blame Gray Sasser for all the problems that have befallen the TDP and our legislators, but since this happened on his watch, he does have to answer for them.

He apparently attempted to do so in this podcast with LIBERADIO, which I have yet to listen to, but will as soon as I can.

Part of the problem is that the state party is usually led by a hot-shot Nashville lawyer looking to make a name for himself on the way to higher office. This leads to having Chairs who don't want to offend the elites of Nashville or Memphis or the rural areas, and as such presents no real progressive agenda.

This, of course, leads to people who barely run to the left of the Republican, or, as in Harold Ford Junior's case, to the RIGHT of the Republican. This is one reason why we've only won TWO statewide offices since 1994, twice with The Honorable Phil Governor.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we campaign on social issues; I know how that will go. However, if Obama and Congress do as they should, and lower MIDDLE and WORKING CLASS taxes, I am presuming some of these rural folks will figure out that what they call "socialism" is pretty good when it goes to them instead of some CEO who ran his financial institution or auto company into the ground.

And we have to be ready with a REAL message, a COORDINATED message that ignores all the anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage stuff that's going to wind up being decided by the Supreme Court anyway. We have to find candidates, especially in the rural areas, who can communicate with people who are scared shitless of change, since they have not experienced POSITIVE change in a hell of a long time.

And, in order to do this, we need a Tennessee Democratic Party (as well as a Shelby County Democratic Party) that is stable enough and organized enough to lay the foundation for this to happen, whether President Obama decides to throw us money or not.

For too long, both the local and state party has waited for the national campaign and the national party to throw money at them before they were willing to do anything. Hell, battles for control of the local party were about this very thing in the 1990s (and you old-timers like me know damn good and well that was what it was about!), and where are we now?

The one exception to this was 2004, when Kathryn Bowers got several folks together, along with the ExecCom, and said, by God, we're going to do it on our own, and raised enough money for a Headquarters and a coordinated campaign that, until this year, produced the highest vote total ever in this County for a Democratic presidential campaign. Kathryn, I miss you.

We need to think about this as A) we approach the 2009 local re-org, and B) the impending race for TDP Chair.

At the state level, above all else, WE NEED A FREAKING COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR 24/7, 365, even if the Chair and Executive Director have to take a damn PAY CUT. For all the vile crap put out by Bill Hobbs, the TNGOP director of propaganda, the saddest fact of all is that it WORKED.

Yes, old Hobbsie is as responsible for this debacle as anyone at TDP HQ, because we never had a coherent response for his messages, because they were still running a 1992 playbook. We saw what that did for Hillary in the primary; what made you think that would work in a general election in 2008?

REMEMBER YOUR BASE! Most of us are, well, I don't know any other way to say it, WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERALS! LIBERALS! LIBERALS!

There, did I say it enough times? And, remember, since this is Tennessee, a WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERAL is just someone who doesn't believe in mandatory gun ownership, and who doesn't believe in public floggings of all non-Christians.

Really, most of us are opposed to the last eight years of neo-feudalist economic policy, we want a NEW NEW DEAL. Tell me again why the people in the rural areas would be opposed to this, since, if you've been paying attention, you know that they are hurting from job losses from exported jobs worse than anyone else. We saw this in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan this year, people who told our field people that they were voting for the "N-----" because they thought he would do a better job. As the commentator said, if McCain couldn't get THOSE people, he was doomed.

Appalachia is Appalachia, and there's no reason it can't happen here. WE, (and that means ME TOO) have to MAKE IT HAPPEN. EVERY TENNESSEE DEMOCRAT NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED, and the TDP needs to get off its collective asses and go to its base and ask for their help. Most of them would be glad to oblige.

More on the local stuff later, it's time to save the TDP while we still can.

And now, for something somewhat different!

We'll be back to our feature film, AS THE TDP TURNS, in a day or so, but I'd like to bring things back home for a moment.

Jackson Baker has reported that AC Wharton, with some 30 months to go before the filing deadline, and with just under two years to go in his term as County Mayor, is having a $500-a-pop fundraiser on November 19 at The Racquet Club. I had heard about this Saturday night from another source, but not with this detailed a report.

Mayor Herenton presumably approves of the Wharton candidacy, which should give some of Wharton's supporters at the County level some pause for concern. It has appeared for over a year now that Hizzoner has wanted to anoint his successor, presumably having to do with his legacy.

I'll leave THAT alone for the moment.

It seems that, while everyone expects that Wharton will win handily, I offer my slightly contrarian suggestion that it is not as cut and dried as you might think. No, I'm not necessarily talking about Carol Chumney, either.

What Wharton has now that he didn't have in 2002 is a record on which he may be judged. In 2006, he had minimal opposition and walked over for victory; however, he may face SEVERAL candidates who are less scared of the Wharton mystique than they once might have been.

While I fully expect Carol to run in 2011, barring accident, let's not forget that Councilor Myron Lowery earlier this year was prepared to run if Herenton had resigned, Chumney or no Chumney, Wharton or no Wharton.

Wharton would not have as large a number of white voters in this city race, and it is they as much as black voters who have propelled him to victory in 2002 and 2006. Lowery could seriously cut into Wharton's totals among all voters regardless of race, and Chumney would hurt Wharton among women and older whites. That would leave Wharton with just Herenton's base, and there's no guarantee that he would get all of that, either.

While Wharton's style certain does not have the grating and sometimes infuriating form as Herenton, his record, frankly, hasn't set the world on fire. He has been faced with the fact that Memphis has suffered job losses and increased poverty, which has been beyond his control, just as it has Herenton. However, adversity is when you test the mettle of an executive, and I leave it to you to judge just how successful he has been.

With all that in mind, Wharton may feel that he needs to get out and get a lot of money in order to pre-empt potential candidacies for 2011. However, I'm not at all certain that will work this time.

It's not just the country as a whole looking for change, people, it's right here in River City!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We have a lot of work to do

Vibinc stood up and offered 50 days of his service at no charge, many of us in the liberal Tennessee blogosphere are working on organizational efforts as we speak, and are all talking about both the national victory and the statewide defeat at the polls on Tuesday.

We're mighty damn frustrated, because I see what happened in Tennessee in 2008 as a reflection of what happened to Congressional Democrats in 1994. Especially in the House, the Democratic leadership had just been in power so long they forgot why they were put there, and were reduced to fighting endless series of holding actions to preserve their power, which they then did not use enough to protect the people.

I understand that if you took out Shelby and Davidson counties, this state would lurch so far to the right it would be uninhabitable, but you cannot be just Republican-lite and expect to stay in power here. You have to fight back, to be aggressive, and to do what's RIGHT rather than what your big-money donors (who will leave you now that you're no longer in power) want you to do.

So, am I suggesting we all move into yurts, take up co-op farming and withdraw from society? Hardly. We have to rebuild FROM THE GROUND UP.

For now, stay away from wedge issues (as the Goopers are now going to try to ram them down our throats). Work on ECONOMIC ISSUES, and GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT. Nobody really cares about the inside-baseball reasons you kicked out Kurita (which, while I eventually agreed with it, I also know that on some levels it hurt us), they want to see real action taken to help their lives.

I'm not going to bash Gray Sasser for his shot at bloggers, which our Blogfather, Randy Neal, so eloquently refuted, I just want to say that we want to help, but we are not just going to parrot the message if we don't think it addresses the situation properly. We write what we believe, and we are not just shills. Work with us, as we have all worked in elections and campaigns repeatedly.

As I said the other day, we need to ORGANIZE. We can't get into campaigns where all they do is out-negative each other; I wouldn't have voted for EITHER candidate in the Camp-Gresham race based on their commercials. Vicious attacks are the Republicans' game, and we need to tell people why they should vote FOR our candidates.

So, while I am deeply happy about the Obama-Biden victory, I know that it is only a sign that our work has just started. We in the blogosphere want to help this party rebuild from the ground up, because that's the any way it can be sustainable.

And, I offer this invitation: All of you who seek the TDP Chairmanship, come to Memphis for Drinking Liberally and we will do our damndest to have a crowd for you. Be prepared to answer tough questions, but we want to move this state to the left where it belongs, and we are prepared to work with any of you, if you are willing to work with us.

My email address is sjs1959 at gmail dot com if you are interested.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's HI time we had some Ann Peebles for FGF

And it's NOT the one you'd expect!

The Great Crib Round-up!

Bring your “retired” cribs to



Baby Cowboy

Saturday, November 8th

10 am-2 pm

Germantown United Methodist Church

OLEC Parking Lot

2323 West Street, Germantown

Thanks to YOU more babies will have a safe place to sleep!

Sponsored by: The Maternal League of Memphis


Safe Kids . The Neighborhood Christian Center

Memphis & Shelby County Health Department

Elfo’s . Ronnie Grisanti & Sons

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

TDP, part III

But not from me, I want you to read Aunt B.'s take on why the TDP was whipped like a red-headed stepchild last night. I may not agree with all of it, but much of it I do.

I'm not through ranting yet...

It angers me that on the morning of the greatest victory in Democratic (hell, AMERICAN) history, we find ourselves in a horribly red state in a blue America.

So, Democrats are in the minority in the State House of Representatives for the first time since, when, Andrew Jackson? My friends, for Shelby County, this is a horrific situation, because all we've really got is Jim Coley (a terrific guy, by the way, he DOES a great job and he's not like the folks outside Shelby) standing between us and complete destruction.

Speaker Jason Mumpower? If that doesn't make your blood run cold, people, it's because you don't know what's coming. Gone are chairmanships for our local legislators, and don't think that they won't try to screw Shelby County as much as possible in redistricting if we don't get this back in two years.

Friends, as the late Branch Rickey used to say, the arrow is pointing DOWN for the Tennessee Democratic Party. What pisses me off is that the response I have heard from the TDP seems to be, well, gee whiz, Obama wrote us off and didn't send us any GOTV money.

BOO FUCKING HOO. That sure didn't stop that lovely little band of rebels over on Park Avenue from raising money ON THEIR OWN (thank you, Desi!) and creating the biggest Democratic margin in Shelby County history, did it?

Obama looked down here and saw disorganization and no chance to win, so he smartly said to hell with it. The fact is, the TDP leadership still can't figure out that 1994 happened, so they are running the campaigns of 15 years ago, and they got their asses handed to them.

ORGANIZE, TDP, it's the only way you'll get anywhere now. The good ole boys with money no longer have to pretend they like you, as their REAL loves, the Republicans, can go about the business of doing for them what the GOP Congress did for business in America from 1994-2006.

YOU HAVE TO BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP. The Clinton Model no longer works in Tennessee, and you need to figure out a way to do this. To be honest, the fact that Bob Tuke got his ass whipped shows that if we had had a real state organization in place, we would be looking at Senator Tuke and not six more years of LAMAR! Sorry, Bob, I don't mean to pile on here, but you know it's true.

Gray Sasser? It's time to walk the plank, son. Somebody has to fall on his sword for this, and you're one of them.

As for Jimmy Naifeh, well, sir, you can't continue to be in hunker down mode all the time and expect to avoid this. I feel sad that you will not be Speaker, but you need to figure out how we're going to get this back.

As for my local TDP reps, I don't blame you for this, I know how hard you work here. The folks in Nashville in leadership, though, have to go. If we don't rethink our party, and SOON, we are doomed to backwardness for the foreseeable future.

America Marches Forward, Tennessee Marches Backward!

Jackson, I swear I had the idea before I saw your story...

As America celebrated their historic victory, giving full control of America to President-Elect Barack Obama, Tennessee embraced backward change by giving control of both houses of the General Assembly to the Republicans.

Part of me is delirious with joy, because now we can put an end to Reaganism now and forevermore. Part of me says WTF? How did we lose the House? We have put ourselves in a position to be overlooked (except of course, for the 9th District and our stellar progressive, STeve Cohen) by the new Administration.

I should go to bed, but I am still confused.

Monday, November 03, 2008


It's 9:40 P.M. CST as I start this, and I believe, if all goes as I think it will, 24 hours from now, we will be celebrating the most important victory for this country since June 6, 1944.

Tomorrow will determine if this country gets back on the right track and begins to restore its place in the world, or continues to degenerate into a backwards third-world banana republic.


I salute my Democratic brothers and sisters fighting here and in battleground states to save this republic with the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

We need to win BIG, to obliterate, eviscerate and destroy the sick creature the once-proud Republican Party has become. We need to get to 60 in the Senate (NOT counting Joementum, thank you) and have a 75-seat margin in the House.

We need to maintain our Democratic majority in the State House and take back the State Senate from Ron Ramsey and his ilk.

We need to elect a real leader like Paul Shaffer to the City Council.


Nothing is impossible, we just have to do it.


With thanks to Jeannette and G-Town Democrats..

Attention Democratic Party / Obama Campaign Poll Watchers and Voter Protection Team:

We want to remind you that persons declare U.S. citizenship when registering to vote. Accordingly, if a person's name appears on the poll book on election day, there is no basis for any poll worker or poll watcher to challenge a voter's citizenship status.

Voters who ask for translator help have an absolute right to assistance – no matter what any poll official or other poll watcher may say.

All our poll watchers Tuesday should be on the lookout for either poll officials who deny a voter the right to have someone help them vote, or for poll watchers who try to encourage poll officials to do so. We suspect this will come up in the area of voters who appear Hispanic or Latino, or perhaps with other first languages and some difficulty with English so they want and need help from a translator.

Anyone who spots this problem – please get the particulars – names, location, voter contact info – and call in immediately. Try not to let the voter take "no" for an answer. But even if they go ahead and vote, get their name, address and contact info, and call the Democratic Voter Protection Hotline at 901-922-6000 immediately.

Again, if you witness any of this activity tomorrow please call 901-922-6000 to provide our legal team with (1) the name of the voter and his/her contact information and (2) the polling location where the voter tried to or did vote.

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of Barack Obama and all of our Democratic candidates for office and for taking time out of your busy schedules to serve as poll watchers and on the voter protection team on Election Day. The number at the Obama volunteer office is 767-8331 if you have any problems using the other number.


To my Democratic brothers and sisters who have gone to Missouri and other battleground states, I salute you. Here, then, thanks to Joe at AmericaBlog, is the summation of why we fight, and why Barack Obama must win tomorrow if our nation is to be saved.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What we're up against

Hat tip to Group News Blog, here is a true story from Fox 2 - Detroit. This is just sad...

Friday, October 31, 2008

The rumors are FALSE!!!!!!!!!!


October 31, 2008


The Shelby County Election Commission announced today that voting on election day, Tuesday, November 4th, will be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for that day only A false and incorrect rumor is being circulated stating that the Election Commission has extended voting until the next day. This is not true. The dates and hours of elections are determined by federal and state laws and cannot be changed by the Election Commission.

Voting will be conducted at 274 voting locations throughout Shelby County. To find your voting location go to the election commission web site,, and look for “Where To Vote” on the left side of the home page. Information on other election topics, including lists of candidates and referenda language, is also available on the site.

Shelby County Election Commissioners

Myra Stiles, Chairman
Richard Holden, Secretary
Robert D. Meyers
O. C. Pleasant, Jr.
Shep Wilbun, Jr

Shelby County Election Commission
157 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38103

It's Feel Good Friday, and you need a laugh

And you'll get one here, because this is REALLY, REALLY bad...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HERE'S why we CANNOT let up.

Hat tip to the remarkable Digby, you HAVE to watch this.

Barack also says DON'T LET UP

Hat tip to Joe at AmericaBlog. Barack would like to remind you to NOT LET UP:

Seven More Days

Again, don't let up.

The Election Commission has extended Early Voting hours from 8 AM to 7 PM through Thursday, when it ends. If you haven't been to vote yet, GO, and take someone with you.

Confused about the Charter Amendments? GO HERE FIRST! They will explain it all for you.

Then, vote YES ON THREE and YES ON FIVE.

VOTE DEMOCRAT, and that includes Paul Shaffer if you live in SD-9, because, even though this is technically non-partisan, we are backing Paul, and the Goopers are backing Kemp Conrad.

If you want there to be a future, VOTE DEMOCRAT, VOTE NOW, and TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU.

Unless, of course, you LIKE the way things are going now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sure, it looks great right now.

Don't let up.

They may tell you Obama has it wrapped up, you may read that McCain and Palin are at each other's throats. That hasn't stopped their people from stealing your Democratic signs over and over and over again; they're petrified because they KNOW the people are tired of Gooper incompetence and malfeasance.

Don't let up.

Barack and Joe and Michelle and Jill aren't letting up. The folks at Eastgate and the folks in Whitehaven aren't letting up, and neither can we. Let's get EVERY DEMOCRAT POSSIBLE to the polls, for EVERYONE on the Democratic ticket, including Paul Shaffer.


But, whatever you do, don't let up.

When it is 7 PM CST on November 4, and the polls are finally closed, THEN AND ONLY THEN can you let up.

Because we MUST END the war in Iraq, the deregulated madness on Wall Street, the outsourcing of our jobs, the Republican attempts to loot our country and turn it into a third-world nation.

The assault on all those folks who make less than seven figures a year (99% of us!) that began with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 can finally brought to an end on November 4, and we can then begin the long, arduous process of rebuilding our country, restoring the faith of our citizens in its government and the faith of the free world in the USA.


Our very way of life is at stake. If you haven't voted early, GO. Early voting is open at 9 AM Monday through Thursday, and it ends Thursday at 6 P.M. If you just can't make it, then vote on Election Day.

Thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today's FGF

Not only is she a legend, she lives in Kernell's district! I have also had the great fortune to meet her on several occasions through the Center For Southern Folklore.

So, because it's a great song and Lauren loves it, here's the remarkable Carla Thomas with B-A-B-Y!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

THIS is why we fight, and THIS is why he is winning this election.

Well, I'm coming back, albeit slowly

This has been a most stressful week for me personally, as I had a personal crisis which has been resolved and let's leave it at that. I have to be more careful, because I now know I'm being watched.

Now then, back to the action.

In my absence, the local blogosphere has been superb in documenting the backdoor actions of a certain part of the SCDP, with regards to BallotGate.

Just so you know where I stand: YES ON THREE, YES ON FIVE, and no to TERM LIMITS. Three is the MLGW amendment, which would require a public vote before it could be sold, and Five is the Instant Runoff Voting amendment.

Apparently Keith Norman got the hint and is having the ballots re-done, although not at the Party's expense. It should either be at their expense or the personal expense of the people who oversaw the printing of the ballots, and arranged for the NO ON REFERENDUMS to be put in error on them. Mistake, my ass.

One of two things need to happen next spring, when the biennual reorganization takes place for the SCDP. First, we need to organize so that the people causing the problems in that organization are swept out or marginalized to the point of non-influence.

However, if that fails, then it's time to walk away from it and let it die, and work independently. I mean don't go to Kennedy Day, don't do anything for them, pretend they don't exist. Work for the candidates of your choice and help get the best possible Democrat in every office.

As Chris Bowers says, More AND Better Democrats, because that's what it's all about.

At least in the SCDP right now, all we have is more, not better.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More on the SCDP situation

First, allow me to apologize to most of the ExecCom, it appears you folks weren't even ALLOWED to vote on Amendment 5, the Instant Runoff Voting Amendment, or ANY OTHER amendment. Apparently when one of the members tried to bring it to the floor for a vote, the presiding officer didn't allow it to come up for a vote, stating theSteering Committee hadn't seen it.

SO? What the hell? If the ExecCom never voted on this, why then does the OFFICIAL SCDP Ballot say that you should vote NO on ALL referendums? REALLY?

Is it REALLY the official position of the Shelby County Democratic Party that you should vote AGAINST a referendum that says any sale of MLG&W has to be approved by the voters? REALLY?

It is REALLY the position of the SCDP that the County Charter Amendments should be voted down? REALLY?

Just who the hell MADE that decision if the SCDP ExecCom NEVER GOT TO VOTE ON THIS? THIS is the kind of BS that makes the Party look inept and ineffective, and Democratic candidates look to be not the beneficiaries of good candidates and good policies, but merely the beneficiaries of favorable demographics.

Yeah, that means what you think it does, and somebody needs to answer for this travesty.

If certain elected officials (and you know who you are) wanted the term-limits amendment to FAIL, why didn't you just say so? Hell, that was the ONE Amendment I voted against, no one could have argued that, not any Democrats.

ALL OF THEM? Without a vote of the Committee? For once, I wish Del Gill had been there to scream bloody murder, as he (and EVERYONE ELSE) should have done. This is backroom BS, and it needs to STOP. The ballots that are out there need to be DESTROYED and new ones with NO POSITION on the refenda need to be issued, because there are candidates on the ballot that NEED that ballot to go out, such as Paul Shaffer and Bob Tuke (even though I am less hopeful about Tuke than Shaffer).

To allow these ballots to stay out there obliterates any shred of credibility that the local Party has. This would never have happened if Keith Norman were still alive, by heavens!

Oh, wait.....

UPDATE 9:18 P.M. Happily, I stand corrected, Mr. Norman will have a press conference, per WTL, tomorrow at 11:30 at the IBEW Hall, 1870 Madison. I just might have to make sure I visit there before I go to work. It's about time...

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's not looking good for FGF; read these and you'll see why

Read Polar Donkey and Brad Watkins at West Tennessee Liberal; what kind of country bullshit is going on at the SCDP? Did the ExecCom even bother to vote on this?

After all, since the local Obama campaign is volunteer-driven and doesn't really need that bunch to go about the business of turning out votes, the SCDP has proven their irrelevance with this act.

Go read both of these to see what I'm talking about.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

THIS is why you also need to help every Democratic Senate candidate.

Janetta pointed out this Tom Udall ad, go get some tissues first....

The lines are LOOOONNNGGG

I early-voted today at White Station Church of Christ, and waited in line 50 minutes to vote (this was during the noon hour). The woman with whom I spoke said that 906 voted there yesterday, part of the 18,200 reported by the Election Commission. She also said that she expected that there would be a higher number than that for today!

It's not just here: Michael Silence and Tom Humphrey at the Knoxville News-Sentinel report that first-day early voting in Tennessee was up 32 percent over 2004, with over 100,000 casting ballots yesterday. WOW.

Go and vote as soon as possible, but be prepared to wait; it's going to be worth to produce the change we all want and need!

Why you should vote for Obama, Part 735

H/T to Sean Braisted

So why haven't we seen this on CNN, MSNBC or FOX NOISE?

H/T to Firedoglake..

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some FUN commercials

Former Cohen for Congress campaign manager Jerry Austin is back in his native Ohio working on commercials in a 527 with which he is assocated, Bring Ohio Back.

With thanks to Rick Maynard, check them out here, here, here and here!


Thank you, Hillary!!!!

Preach, sister, preach!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

After a hiatus, we have RETURNED.

To remind you...

Ladies & Gentlemen, after a short absence, we are proud to announce the Memphis return of


We will begin again on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15 at 7 PM with a DEBATE WATCH PARTY at our new home, the recently-renovated RP Billiards at 525 South Highland, on the Strip!

We will have a room with couches and a large TV, along with tables, food and Happy Hour prices from 7-10 PM this week, in following weeks we will run EVERY Wednesday from 7-9 PM. Please tell your friends and come join us this coming Wednesday, and EVERY Wednesday thereafter for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the renovated building, the menu is being upgraded; in addition to the great burgers you've come to know there and at the original RP Tracks around the corner, they have terrific pizzas and newer items, like blackened tuna. You will have a GREAT time!

Many thanks to David Holt for spearheading this project, as well as Rebecca Jackson, Rick Maynard, and Meg Seigenthaler for assisting in the reformation of DL.



7-10 PM
525 South Highland (between Midland and Walker on the Strip)

Be there as DL returns!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Next Saturday night, come help out Mike Kernell!

Time and Place
Saturday, October 18, 2008
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Raffe's Deli and Beer Garden
84 S Reese (at Poplar)
Memphis, TN
Contact Info